Roger Pretzel’s Haunted Dungeon Week 3 (Special Edition Mamma Pretzel Picks): Derrick Johnson Pick Six and Awakening of the Beast

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Published on : September 29, 2016

 

Welcome back to Roger Pretzel’s Haunted Dungeon. In this spooky sanctum I’ve poured over all the replay tape to come up with my favorite NFL play of the week. Then it’s straight back to the projector to unspool a film you may have not been aware of…

 

The lights have dimmed, the prisoners manacled, and the graves have been robbed.

 

Week 3 Special – Mamma Pretzel’s Choice: Derrick Johnson Picks Off Fitzpatrick, Rumbles His Way 50-plus Yards For The TD

 

 

Mamma Pretzel is a football fan, and I’m lucky enough that each year her and I head off to Ford Field to see a Lions game in October. As I was chatting about the NFL with her while going over the highlights Monday so I thought I’d hand over the reigns and give her a shot at picking this week’s highlight.

 

I was personally pretty giddy over LeGarrette Blount’s long run for TD on Thursday night, aided by a great Julian Edelman block and capped off with a goofy photo-op celebration with the “minutemen,” but that was rejected out of hand by Moms: “I’m not going to pick anything involving the damn Patriots.” I submit without comment. “Well, I guess it’s gotta be that one…,” she admitted after reviewing Derrick Johnson’s pick of Ryan Fitzpatrick, who then went on to follow his blocks cleverly, end the thing with a nice stiff-arm, and stumble/spin into the end zone. It turned out to be a compromise seeing as how Mamma Pretzel is a bit of a Jets fan and a real-deal believer in Fitzpatrick. Again, I submit without comment.

 

Kansas City had their way defensively with the Jets at Arrowhead on Sunday. Fitz threw a whopping six interceptions, with this one being the final straw late in the fourth. While it was a lost cause for sure at that point, I love the focus by Johnson, as well as the dedication of Jets WR Quincy Enunwa rushing back only to take the rough stiff–arm to the mask that sealed the play. The Chiefs continue to have one of those maddening hot/cold defenses. At their best they are easily in the league’s top three, but that’s not always the team we see on Sunday. Thanks Mom! See you in October.

 

Week 3: Awakening of the Beast

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Director: Jose Mojica Marins
Released: 1970

 

Brazilian director and horror personality Jose Mojica Marins, better known by his top-hatted and long-taloned persona “Coffin Joe” is still working today, but he’s best known in the States for a duo of shockers made in the 1960’s that are lurid, stylish, and sport some great titles: At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul (1964), and This Night I’ll Possess Your Corpse (1967). The flicks are good fright fare with a combination of dreadful tone in the menacing character of Joe himself, and the general theme of the madman subjecting beautiful scantily clad women to torture by all manner of creepy-crawlies. Spider on midriff? Check. Snake around thigh? Check. Marins also has a legitimately threatening presence as an actor, imbuing these two films with a sense that violence can happen to anyone at any minute.

 

Coffin_joe_joe_coffin

 

Awakening of the Beast is sometimes considered the third installment in a trilogy along with the aforementioned films, but given Marins’ scattered and varied output, most of which involves Coffin Joe, I don’t find the assessment to be appropriate. More Roger Corman exploitation cheapie than spook show, Marins uses the hoary old MacGuffin of psychedelic drug use as an excuse to stage skits involving all manner of deviant sexual behavior (S & M, bestiality, and incest all get at least passing attention), and like many other good examples of the “freak out” genre this one switches over from black and white to candy color for a phantasmagoric orgy of sex and violence once the LSD properly kicks in.

 

awakening-of-the-beast

 

Laughably sensationalist treatment of drug culture and cheap thrills and chills aside, Marins using his own Coffin Joe character as a kind of mock-documentary host/educator instead of boogeyman bad-guy is the most fun to watch, and the picture’s crowning achievement.

 

This extremely NSFW opening scene gives you a taste of what Joe/Jose is serving up in Awakening of the Beast:

 

 

This one is pretty hard to get a hold of today, with no easy streaming options I could find, but it looks like Amazon sells DVD copies for pretty cheap. Both At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul, and This Night I’ll Possess Your Corpse are available for free in their entirety on Youtube.

 

 


Overreaction: NFL Week 2

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Published on : September 20, 2016

 

 

Week 2 is over. The 2016 season is officially off and running. Some would say it’s still too early to know anything about the identity of teams but those people have obliviously never met me. Listen up while I spout off wild, speculative snap judgements on all 32 NFL teams after only two games completed.

 

– The Bills are 0-2 and their season is already over. It was fun while it lasted Buffalo. Maybe they should have let Rock Star Bon Jovi buy the team a few years back.Well, better luck next time. Living on Prayer.

 

– The Jets offense is great as long as Matt Forte stays healthy and keeps moving them down the field. Without him, this team is doomed to be a sub .500 unit.

 

– The league office still hates the Detroit Lions. The conspiracy continues. In the 15-16 loss to the Titans, the Honolulu Blue and Silver were flagged 17 times for 138 yards. None worse than the two fantom calls that negated TD’s on back-to-back plays. Those calls completely changed the landscape of the game.

 

 

– The Titans are now 1-1 but this crew showed me little to make me believe in them. They exploited a super injury-weakened Lions D and scored some late points but that seems more situational than skill. It was mostly just smart play calling. I’m obviously still salty about this but this team sucks plain and simple.

 

– The Panthers got back on track in week 2 with a solid performance against the 49ers. Cam had 4 TD’s with two going to Kelvin Benjamin. This offense is even better than last year because Benjamin is back. Panthers look bound for another deep playoff run.

 

– San Fransisco blew out the Rams last week and no one knew what to make of them, but hanging with Carolina tells me they are more complete than most think. They leave the bottom of the barrel of last campaign and join the blurry middle of the pack.

 

– The Cincinnati Bengals cannot beat the Steelers. They melted down in the playoffs last year and failed again at Heinz field this Sunday. Marvin Lewis needs to figure a way to slay this dragon or else they might never get Andy Dalton that postseason win.

 

– The Steelers are legit. They score bunches of points and this is all without star running back Le’Veon Bell. If Big Ben stays off IR than the steel city boys are eyeing another division crown and maybe a meeting with the Patriots in the conference finals.

 

 

– Speaking of the AFC North, the 0-2 Cleveland Browns still suck. What’s new? Week 3 may see the Browns start their third QB of the year. Ouch. This team is done. Go hang out with the Bills. Your year is over.

 

– Baltimore is 2-0, sounds great but they barely came back against Cleveland and squeaked by Buffalo week 1. Two close wins against the worst of the NFL does not inspire confidence.

 

– Washington is 0-2 after losses to Dallas and Pittsburgh. Kirk Cousins is playing on the Franchise Tag trying to prove he is worth a big contract. So far, he hasn’t shown that moxie of 2015. Things better turnaround quick or the D.C. area may have to start rebuilding, again.

 

– The Cowboys got their first win with rookies Dak Prescott at QB and Ezikel Elliot at RB. This young team is lead by that great offensive line but I don’t see them going too far with all that inexperience running the show.

 

– Giants are looking good. I talked shit about them before but at 2-0 they are now the favorites to win the NFC East. The defense has played well and they have showed guts in two close contests.

 

 

– The Saints are winless. It feels like the same story every year with these guys. They can score lots of points and Drew Brees keeps it close but they can’t string the W’s together. No chance at the playoffs.

 

– The Miami Dolphins. A squad full of talent and names that never seems to be able to put it all together. Another slow start at 0-2 and Arian Foster is already dealing with health issues. Call the nurse, we have another dead team. Sorry not Sorry.

 

– The New England Patriots are undefeated and playing without Gronk or Brady. Their next two games are at home and untested rookie, Jacoby Brissett, may start at QB for the injured Jimmy Garoppolo. If the Pats are ever going to lose, it may be next week against Houston, but after that, they will probably run the table. As per usual.

 

– The Houston Texans will win the AFC South. They are 2-0 and the most complete team in the division. I’m sure JJ Watt can’t wait to introduce himself to Brissett on Thursday night.

 

– Kansas City Chiefs are a hard team to read. They beat the Chargers week 1 but lost to the Texans. They will hang around the Wild Card spot most of the year only to drop off at the end.

 

 

– The Los Angeles Rams are one of the worst teams in the league. It pains me to type that because they are now my second favorite. It’s a mystery how they beat Seattle but it was a 9-3 ugly affair. They should start planning their draft picks now.

 

– The Seahawks are 1-1 after that bizarre game with L.A. that saw injuries to Thomas Rawls, Tyler Lockett and Russell Wilson. Russ stayed in the game but was clearly ailing. Seattle will weather the storm and make a serious push for the playoffs.

 

– Arizona lost a close one with the Pats in week 1 and took their anger out on the Bucs in week 2. This is a solid team top to bottom. They will be hosting a postseason game. Hopefully Carson Palmer can last that long.

 

– Tampa Bay is 1-1. They have some nice pieces across the roster but don’t get too excited. They are not ready for prime time. Maybe they can finish second in the NFC South. No postseason though.

 

– Jacksonville Jaguars were a breakout pick from many talking heads in the sports world. I’ll admit they have many promising players but they still suck.

 

 

– San Diego Chargers are once again battling the injury bug. Already, key starters Keenan Allen and Danny Woodhead are done for the year. This trend will unfortunately continue because that’s what happens in San Diego.

 

– The Falcons sit at 1-1. Matty Ice leads an even attack that is more than effective but the lack of close out defense will limit Atlanta’s potential. No playoffs for you, one year.

 

– The Raiders have all the tools needed to make the postseason and they will finally punch their ticket this year. Move over Warriors, Oakland’s true love is going to the dance for the first time since 2002.

 

– The Colts can’t stop anybody so they will keep losing. They are 0-2 and have zero chance of winning their division.

 

– Broncos will be playing without DeMarcus Ware for a bit but it’s okay, that defense is still so nasty that they will be in every game. Look for Denver to have another serious playoff run.

 

 

– Green Bay is 1-1 after a win over the Jags and a loss to the rival Vikings. Jordy Nelson doesn’t look 100% and Eddie Lacy is still fat. I hope and pray the wheels fall off but they will probably turn it around all over the my Lions this Sunday.

 

– The Sam Bradford project is working in Minnesota. The Vikings beat the Packers which is all you need to do to win over the locals. The team is 2-0 but may have lost Adrian Peterson for extended time. I still see them in the hunt for a Wild Card birth.

 

– Carson Wentz looks good in two games. The Eagles are 2-0 and those monsters in Philly must be smiling. Just wait for some adversity and those cheers will turn to boos. The Eagles can’t keep this up.

 

– Bears are really bad. Jay Cutler is worse. And the schedule doesn’t get any easier. At least the Cubs are good.

 

Is it week 3 yet?

 

 


Roger Pretzel’s Review ‘N Brew: Week 17

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Published on : January 7, 2016

 

 

In this little corner Roger Pretzel will review his favorite play of the week along with a thoughtful review of what beverage he was imbibing at the time.

 

 

Week 17: Ziggy Pressures Cutler Who Throws A Pick to Quin, Wrapping Up the Game/Season

CutlerAnsah

 

VIDEO: HERE

 

It’s been a struggle for Lions fans (when hasn’t it?), but at least the blue and silver get to go out with a little joy, with a win over the only divisional rival more pitiable. Cutler has looked good as of late with his interception figures way down, but the Lions got to him here, forcing him into his old ways with three turnovers on the day.

 

Ziggy Ansah has had a mega season, and is certainly one of the more unsung players in the league, as DeAndre Levy was the year before. He does what he does here, getting around the edge and launching into Cutler, forcing the bad throw. Glover Quin is there for the easy catch and then there’s the inevitable scuffle. Not sure why Ansah’s the aggressor here, but I do have it on good authority that Jay Cutler has a withering collection of “yo mama” jokes under his belt.

 

The simultaneous sense of sadness and relief that there will be no more high-anxiety, beer-fueled Sunday mornings is the just the way it goes this time of year.

 

 

Week 17: The Sad Salty Tears of Jets Fans

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I’ve never thought I’d be sad to see the Jets miss the playoffs, but there’s something about the 2015 campaign that made me quietly root for them. Mostly it’s Todd Bowles. Coming into his first season as head coach, this was a team that looked all but dead in the water with some high profile injuries, arrests, and Geno’s broken jaw.

 

It’s not unusual for many an NFL fan to latch onto their favorite stories of the year, and I often gravitate towards the pound’s ugly puppy. The Jets aren’t a perennially sad-sack team like the Browns or the Titans, they’re a solid franchise in transition, with no real reason for an outsider to root for them, but then there are those two little doggies in the window that nobody wanted…

 

Ryan Fitzpatrick and Chris Ivory. These guys were never top-tier Pro Bowl types, but often gained my respect in watching them over the years. Fitzpatrick having officially played for every single team in the NFL, most of them on two different signings, was never afraid to take a big hit on a successful first down run with the play disintegrating. Chris Ivory had, and still has, some fumble issues, but I love his violent run style with feet refusing to stop even when wrapped up by two linemen and a linebacker. They’re two players that made a difference on the field this year, both in terms of performance and perception.

 

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Of course all this lovey-dovey treacle I’m throwing Gang Green’s way is ephemeral, fragile, and easy to say in hindsight. If the Lions had lost to ‘em this season, I’d be crowing at their elimination. And don’t get me wrong, I much prefer the Steelers, and can’t wait to see Pittsburgh in the playoffs.

 

Still, it’s another one of those fun things about the NFL, where team’s structures and dynamics move so fast that a squad you hated, or even just didn’t think anything about last season, becomes a somewhat loveable scrapper. This Sunday, for about a minute and a half, I felt genuinely sorry for Jets fans.

 

Glad that’s over. Time to move onto the playoffs.

 

 


Roger Pretzel’s Review ‘N Brew: Weeks 11 and 12

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Published on : December 4, 2015

 

All right gang, this week you get a two’fer seeing as how I take off the entire week of Thanksgiving every year come hell or high water. After the belt is loosened, the naps slept, and the leftovers properly sandwiched, I’ve got fat reserves a-go-go to bring you the greatest plays from the NFL’s weeks 11 and 12, respectively.

 

 

Week 11: Matt Hasselbeck Flips to Ahmad Bradshaw for 7 Yard TD

Bradshaw for the TD!

 

VIDEO: HERE

 

If you’re gonna pull a comeback it needs to start somewhere. This time, the Colts three point victory over the Falcons got off the ground thanks to an old familiar face. Ahmad Bradshaw turns to Hasselbeck, as the replacement QB is about to get run-over under pressure, and catches the quick shovel pass. It ain’t too difficult for Bradshaw to take it seven yards to the house with two big blockers and a lot of green in front of him.

 

It certainly doesn’t look like a planned screen to me, and regardless whether or not it was, it took some quick reflexes and smarts on the part of both Hasselbeck and Bradshaw to pull it off. If Bradshaw can remain a viable back, it certainly takes some pressure off fellow old-timer Frank Gore, and would give the Colts a more successful running game down the stretch.

 

 

Week 12: Chris Ivory Refuses to Be Tackled

He won’t be stopped!

 

VIDEO: HERE

 

Chris Ivory has always been a beastly downhill runner, and he really lives up to his rep with this diehard effort. The play doesn’t look great to start as Dolphins linebacker Neville Hewitt bolts through a hole in the line, but Ivory manages to elude Hewitt, making him whiff on the tackle. Ivory gains a few, and by all rights should be stopped as the Jets back runs afoul of three linemen attacking from three different directions. Inexplicably Ivory twists out of this and gets free. Throw in one more missed tackle by linebacker Kelvin Sheppard and you’ve got a Review ‘N Brew worthy highlight on your hands.

 

Of course Ivory deserves all the credit and respect on the play, but there’s something troubling in the listlessness shown by a defense that some thought would be an elite squad at the beginning of the season…

 

 

Weeks 11 and 12: A Ceramic Mug of Congealed Turkey Gravy Melted in the Microwave

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Another sweet sweet Lions win in the books, and a blowout on Thanksgiving to boot! Every bite of turkey tasted like an eagle, and every mouthful of fluffy mashed potatoes like Chip Kelly’s fragile dreams. That night I gave thanks to Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate, Matthew Stafford, and especially Ziggy Ansah. There was even room in my heart for Joique Bell and Stephen Tulloch. Commensurate to the room in my belly for pumpkin pie (whipped cream, please.)

 

On Thanksgiving, that most pigskin friendly of holidays, I ate and drank my fill. Fine wines and side dishes, brewskies and desserts: all traveled merrily down my gullet as I celebrated with friends and family. I didn’t want it to end. I never want Thanksgiving to end.

 

One of Calvin’s three touchdowns on Thanksgiving

 

That night I couldn’t sleep, as I was unsurprisingly afflicted with indigestion. I crept downstairs and watched highlights from the day’s games. Poor Tony Romo. Bears win at Lambeau! I opened the fridge, but I wasn’t hungry. I was now possessed by either the spirit of the holiday, or by the ghost of a vengeful Native American exiled from his homeland after lending a helping hand to the pale-faced new arrivals.

 

I pulled a tupperware of gravy from the fridge and a spoon from the drawer. The cold gravy, once so warm and velvety, had now become the texture of jelly as the turkey grease congealed around the flour and mushroom chunks. This wouldn’t do. Not one bit. I looked for an appropriate receptacle and came upon a ceramic coffee mug. Inspired, I started spooning gobbet after gobbet of the meat slurry into the cup. 30 microwavable seconds later the gravy had returned to its former glory, with the mushrooms proudly floating atop my beautiful brown elixir. The aroma of rendered fowl fat was intoxicating.

 

I drank and I drank. I sucked up that damned gravy in one go. Sated, I hit replay on the day’s Lions highlights, smiling with joy between grimaces brought on by chest pains. Tomorrow would be a rough one, but right now everything was just as it should be.

 

 


SBS NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 7

Written by :
Published on : October 21, 2015

 

This things has gone totally off the rails. My NFL Picks Against the Spread got absolutely destroyed last week and I put up an embarrassing record of 4-9-1. There’s not a whole lot I have to say for myself and I’m going to need a stellar week if I’m to have any hope of getting even here. I’ve been just better than a coin flip up until now, but there’s not really any excuse for what happened. I had a bad week. Simple as that. But like any degenerate gambler, I know I can get it together this week! I can’t lose, so let’s take the plunge!

 

Winning picks in italics

 

Seahawks (-6) at 49ers: 49ers

Seahawks haven’t looked good enough to convince me that they win by more than a field goal. 49ers have looked pretty decent at home though so that’s my pick.

 

Bills (-5.5) at Jaguars (in London): Bills

This isn’t truly a road game for the Bills since it is being played in London and I don’t think the Jaguars are very good right now. I want to believe they can start to put it together but I think the Bills will just be too much to handle.

 

Browns at Rams (-5.5): Browns

I think the Rams will probably eek this out at home but the Browns have been pretty competitive of late. Look for this one to go the Rams’ way late but probably by a field goal or less.

 

Chiefs at Steelers (-2): Steelers

The Chiefs just haven’t been any good this season and their offense is in serious trouble without Jamaal Charles on the field. The Steelers beat a quality opponent last week in the Cardinals, despite having to roll with Landry Jones at QB after Mike Vick (who hasn’t exactly been stellar) got hurt. Le’Veon Bell and the Steelers receivers will be covering the spread, no matter who is at QB.

 

Texans at Dolphins (-4.5): Texans

Arian Foster looks to be getting back into game shape, and that makes all the difference for this Texans team. Between him and DeAndre Hopkins, who is tearing it up right now, this team could actually make a run to win the very bad AFC South. On the backs of those two, the Texans will beat the Dolphins.

 

Jets at Patriots (-9): Patriots

Last week my rule of taking the Patriots and Packers, no matter what the spread is, backfired on me. This one could be just as dangerous because the Jets have looked pretty strong, but isn’t this the perfect time for the Jets to trip over themselves? I see them going into Foxborough and getting a thorough beating at the hand of (arguably) the best team in the league.

 

Vikings (-2.5) at Lions: Lions

This one is also dangerous but as a rule, I don’t really like to pick the road team in a division game. The Lions are still pretty bad when you consider that it took overtime for them to beat the piss-poor Bears. I’m thinking they get Ngata back this week and take a little revenge for their mistake filled loss to the Vikings in week 2.

 

Falcons (-4) at Titans: Falcons

The Falcons lost their bid for an undefeated season last week in New Orleans but they are going to get back on track this week in Tennessee. Devonta Freeman is going to run all over the Titans and you can bet that Julio Jones will get in on the action too.

 

Buccaneers at Redskins (-3.5): Redskins

The Buccaneers running game might give them a chance in this one but I just don’t see Jameis Winston being successful in this road matchup. He has played mistake-prone football all year and I think the pressure of heading up north to play the ‘Skins will be too much. A few too many interceptions means that Washington covers the spread.

 

Saints at Colts (-5): Colts

Andrew Luck looked better this past week but he was still uncharacteristically inaccurate at times. One has to wonder if that injury is still bothering him but another week might help with that. If the Colts don’t get it together real soon, and cut out the bullshit trick plays, then they will be looking for a new head coach very soon. Pagano should just go out and coach his team to a win against a lesser opponent.

 

Raiders at Chargers (-4): Chargers

I’m almost tempted to pick the Raiders in this situation, but I’m not going to…. Remember that whole thing about division games on the road? Yeah, that applies here too. Phillip Rivers and Keenan Allen will win this one if they can avoid the ageless wonder, Charles Woodson.

 

Cowboys at Giants (-3.5): Giants

The Cowboys are playing a division game on the road. And they’re starting Matt Cassel at quarterback! They might as well just fast forward to next week. I don’t care that the Giants just got blown out by the Eagles, they will cover here.

 

Eagles at Panthers (-2.5): Panthers

The Panthers, and especially Cam Newton, are looking very good right about now. They will get the Eagles at home and are bound to capitalize on some Sam Bradford mistakes and keep the unbeaten streak going for one more week.

 

Ravens at Cardinals (-7.5): Cardinals

The Ravens are really bad and I’m regretting not including them in the NFL Graveyard article that I released last week. The Cardinals slipped up recently but will get back on track at home. Look for them to put up a ton of points and cover the spread.

 

 

Bears, Bengals, Broncos and Packers: Bye week.

 


 

 

Last week’s record: 4-9-1

 

Season record: 42-46-3

 


ScoreBoredSports NFL Staff Picks: Week 6

Written by :
Published on : October 14, 2015

 

Thanks for reading ScoreBoredSports NFL Staff Picks: Week 6. So, one thing they don’t tell you when you begin the process of turning into a fifty-foot tall giant made of diamond, is how strongly such a transformation can affect those around you. For example, did you know that people sometimes resent perfect geniuses like myself who make incredibly insightful NFL picks each week? To quote SBS Co-Founder and bearded maniac, Bruno Tysh: “Why has God cursed me with such strength?”

 

This week, the SBS staff didn’t have our best showing, but we were still strong in making heady picks. Mike tied for the lead with that Bruno dude, and yours truly.  As unquestionable as my brilliant method is, the truth behind the veil is perhaps more deceptive than one might think.  Simply stated: my main strategy is to avoid feeling stupid after making a pick.  The best example of this I can think of came a few weeks ago, when the Texans played the Bucs. My logic in picking Houston? Boy, would I have felt like an idiot picking a rookie quarterback, who’s historically struggled against pressure, on the road, against the mythological creature known as J.J. Watt.  It doesn’t take a genius to make that pick, but it doesn’t hurt that I am one.

 

Week 6

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SBS NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 6

Written by :
Published on : October 14, 2015

 

Now we’re cooking with gas! For the second week in a row I posted a winning record, coming in at 8-5-1. I’m starting to get a good feel for the teams and I’m poised to increase my overall win percentage this week. The cream of the crop in the NFL is beginning to separate themselves from everyone else and that makes my life much easier. Until further notice I will be picking the Patriots and Packers to win no matter where they are or what the spread is (luckily they don’t play each other), and I suggest you do too. Here are the rest of the SBS NFL Picks Against the Spread for week 6.

 

Winning picks in italics.

 

Falcons (-3) at Saints: Atlanta

I normally don’t like to pick the road team in a division game, but the Saints aren’t any good. The Falcons on the other hand are one of the few undefeated teams. Atlanta has been beating people in the trenches on both sides of the ball and as a result they have been running the ball all over people. Falcons win big.

 

Broncos (-4.5) at Browns: Denver

The Broncos have won all all three of their road games by larger margins than this 4.5 point spread, and against arguably better competition. Their defense is going to eat up the Browns and you can bet that the offense will do enough to cover in this one.

 

Bengals (-3.5) at Bills: Bengals

This is a tricky but I think the Bengals have proven that they are a much better team than the Bills. Add to that the fact that the Bills will be without Tyrod Taylor, LeSean McCoy, and possibly Sammy Watkins, and I could see them getting shut out. The Bills defense will keep it close for a bit but they won’t be able to keep up with what has been a very, very good Bengals squad.

 

Chiefs at Vikings (-3.5): Vikings

The Chiefs were in trouble before Jamaal Charles went down for the year with a torn ACL. Now that their best player is gone, I think things could start to get real ugly in Kansas City. I see Teddy and Adrian going wild over a Chiefs defense that has been pretty disappointing this season. Vikes cover at home.

 

Texans (-1) at Jaguars: Jaguars

A battle of two bad teams means that home field will probably determine the winner. The Texans have the better defense and the Jags have actually looked pretty decent on offense. This one could go either way but I see Blake Bortles avoiding J.J. Watt for long enough to work some magic and win at home.

 

Bears at Lions (-3): Lions

These two teams are even worse than the previous two. I’m going Lions here only because they have got to win at some point right? I’m just assuming they will do it by a touchdown.

 

Redskins at Jets (-6): Redskins

The Jets are going to win this one at home but I don’t think it will be by that much. The Redskins have been bad but their defense ranks in the top half of the league. For that reason I think they will keep it close and cover the spread.

 

Cardinals (-3) at Steelers: Cardinals

How about them Cardinals, eh? Despite having a loss against the Rams at home, they deserve to be in the conversation for best team in the league, along with the Patriots and Packers. Their offense is electric, with Carson Palmer looking 10 years younger, and the defense is perhaps the most opportunistic bunch in football. The Steelers will probably still have Mike Vick throwing the ball. For these reasons, the Cardinals cover and win big.

 

Dolphins at Titans (-2.5):  Titans

To be honest this one could go either way. The Titans have shown just enough for me to believe that they cover at home.

 

Panthers at Seahawks (-7): Panthers

Have the oddsmakers watched the Seahawks this season? In all reality they should be 1-4 but they got bailed out by the refs in Detroit a few weeks back. I’m not sure they win this one straight up, let alone by 7. Take the Panthers.

 

Chargers at Packers (-10): Packers

Always take the Packers.

 

Ravens (-2.5) at 49ers: 49ers

There’s a lot of games between bad teams this week and this is another one of ’em. The fact that they are at home, along with Carlos Hyde’s work on the ground will make the difference for the 49ers.

 

Patriots (-8) at Colts: Patriots

See the explanation for picking the Packers above.

 

Giants at Eagles (-3.5): Giants

I have a feeling that the Giants will be winning in this game late in the 4th quarter and then will find a way to lose by a slim margin. Because of that I choose Giants because they will lose, but only by 2 points.

 

Cowboys, Raiders, Buccaneers, Rams: All on their bye week

 

 


 

 

 

Last week’s record: 8-5-1

 

Season Record: 38-37-2

 

 

 


SBS NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 5

Written by :
Published on : October 7, 2015

 

I finally got my act together last week and posted a winning record. Sure, it was by the slimmest of margins and possibly aided by the fact that there was one less game, but I’ll take my 8-7 finish. This slate of games is a bit tricky and there are some very tempting spreads, but it seems to make sense to go with the favorite on a lot of these. The teams are starting to really settle in and take final form now that they’ve got a full quarter of the season under their belts and it’s becoming clear who the best teams are. With that said, let’s take a look at the winning NFL Picks Against the Spread for week 5.

 

Winning picks in italics

 

Colts (-3) at Texans: Colts

The Colts haven’t been great but neither have the Texans, and Indy has their star quarterback returning to the field (presumably). I’ve said this before but Luck has to start putting it together eventually and this seems like a good divisional road game to get the team back on track. Take the Colts to cover.

 

Jaguars at Buccaneers (-3): Jaguars

The Jags almost pulled off the upset last week but couldn’t get out of their own way. This week they are lucky enough to play a much less talented team in the Bucs. Jameis Winston should just change his name to “booty” because everything he has been producing the last few weeks has been crap. I can definitely see the Jaguars going down to Tampa and getting the win behind a strong game from their offense.

 

Bills (-2.5) at Titans: Bills

Rex Ryan is going to give his team hell this week in practice after they absolutely fell apart last week. They are going to come back on fire against the Titans and win by much more than the 2.5 point spread. Look for a big game out of Tyrod Taylor.

 

Browns at Ravens (-6.5): Browns

This is a division game and the Ravens haven’t exactly looked great so far this season. The Browns will cover this one, but it might be uncomfortably close.

 

Redskins at Falcons (-7.5): Falcons

The Falcons have looked really good this year and Julio Jones looks like the best wide receiver in all of football. The ‘Skins have looked much better than I originally thought they would but I don’t think they hold up in Atlanta and The Falcons win this by 2 touchdowns.

 

Bears at Chiefs (-9.5): Bears

I know the Bears have been bad all season but the Chiefs haven’t beat anybody by this many points and they still aren’t exactly airing the ball out. I think the Chiefs win at home but with a spread like this I’m taking anyone they play.

 

Saints at Eagles (-5): Saints

I’m sorry but Chip Kelly’s newly re-designed Eagles just aren’t very good. Maybe they shouldn’t have ditched all of their best players, but that’s another discussion for another time. Meanwhile the Saints aren’t very good either, but they still have Drew Brees and he will keep this one close enough for the Saints to cover the spread.

 

Rams at Packers (-9): Packers

Same thing I said last week. If the Pack is at Lambeau then you take them. No matter the spread, you just take them….. God I hate them.

 

Seahawks at Bengals (-3): Bengals

The Bengals are legitimately in the discussion for one of the best teams in the league and the Seahawks are coming off of an emotional win at home that they barely got and probably didn’t deserve. The ‘Hawks just aren’t the same team they’ve been for the last 4 years or so. Andy Dalton and his crew of offensive weapons will cover this spread and get the win.

 

Cardinals (-2.5) at Lions: Cardinals

The Cardinals took a bit of a step backward last week with a home loss to the Rams, but the Lions are a team that finds new and exciting ways to lose games each and every week. They will do the same this week and the Cardinals will cover the spread.

 

Patriots (-9) at Cowboys: Patriots

Another large spread that tempted me to take the underdog. But then I remembered that Brandon Weeden is the Cowboys QB and I came to my senses. It’s the Patriots, and all they do is win.

 

Broncos (-5) at Raiders: Raiders

The Broncos are thus far undefeated, but this seems like the perfect trap game for them. The Raiders have actually looked decent at times this year and in this divisional game at home.  I can see them at least covering the spread, if not winning outright.

 

49ers at Giants (-7): 49ers

The Giants are going to win this game at home, but I don’t think it will be by 7 points. I can see Eli making a few mistakes and letting the 49ers hang around long enough for them to cover the spread.

 

Steelers at Chargers (-3): Steelers

It seems like the Chargers have had a million injuries and that is going to catch up to them in this game. I know that Big Ben is out but I think the Steelers just have too many other weapons on offense for them to not at least cover the spread.

 

Dolphins, Vikings, Jets and Panthers: Bye week

 


 

 

Last week’s record: 8-7

 

Season Record: 30-32-1

 

 

 


2015-16 NHL Season Preview: Central Division

Written by :
Published on : October 3, 2015

 

Welcome to ScoreBoredSports.com’s 2015-16 NHL Season Preview for the Central Division. Early last year, people wondered whether or not the Central was a division that featured seven playoff-caliber teams. The defensive profligacy of the Stars, continued stagnation in Winnipeg, and a dismal Wild season only saved by the heroics of a castaway goaltender, destabilized that dream. This year, the division’s outlook is not as rosy, with the customary dismantling of the Championship Blackhawks underway, questions surrounding uneven rosters in Colorado, Winnipeg, and Dallas, and the all-important question of when Patrick Roy will finally kill a man on the ice by the sheer venom of his hubris.

 

 

central division
Image by Roger Pretzel

 

Central Division:

  • Blackhawks
  • Avalanche
  • Stars
  • Wild
  • Predators 
  • Blues 
  • Jets

 

Falling

 

Chicago Blackhawks:

Quenneville and Toews will need to do a lot to keep the Blackhawks contending this year.

 

Well, might as well get this out of the way: the Blackhawks will not be as good this year. As salary cap issues forced Stan Bowman and co. to dismantle this fantastic roster, so, too, did their Stanley Cup aspirations crumble. They’ve shed key championship pieces like Brad Richards, Johnny Oduya, Antoine Vermette, and Brandon Saad. Gone, too, are Kris Versteeg and Patrick Sharp, each of whom played valuable minutes in a spectrum of roles. More pressing is the cloud that looms over the season in the form of a sexual assault allegation against Patrick Kane. No matter the outcome, nor the increasingly troublesome nature of the case, this inexorably will affect the team’s ability to concentrate and focus on the games at hand, whether Kane is present or not. But if any team has the structure to withstand such turmoil, the stalwart Hawks are the squad to do it.  When a team is a dynasty on the level of these Hawks, every player tends to ooze leadership.  The overall fall from surefire contender to a low playoff seed is an easy fall to predict, but make no mistake: this team still features the game’s best defenseman in Duncan Keith, the game’s best leader in Jonathan Toews, and the game’s best coach in Joel Quenneville. They added players on the cheap that have good potential to be productive, such as Ryan Garbutt and Artem Anisimov, and Trevor Daley might slot into a second-pair defensive role quite nicely.   They are likely to make the playoffs, but fight for every inch along the way.  It’s an ever-crowding West, but the Hawks still have too much on their roster to be silent come playoff time.

 

Winnipeg Jets:

There’ll be a lot more of this from Pavelec and the Jets this year.

 

I’m mainly concerned that this team is what it is, which is not a contender — and stagnation kills in the NHL. Trading Evander Kane for Tyler Myers may have shielded the tender fans in Winnipeg from whatever hangups they had about Kane, but Myers looked uneven in the playoffs. I’m just not convinced he’s Chara 2.0, or ever will be. I can see the appeal of a towering defense featuring Dustin Byfuglien and Myers, with massive slap shots and punishing hits aplenty; but I can also see, just beyond the hulking giants, a terrible goalie in net. Ondrej Pavelec is not an NHL starter, but boy has he started a lot of NHL games. I know you might be thinking “but look at his numbers last year, they’re quite good!” Maybe, but he’s not. He will be bad this year, don’t trust this false hope of a 50-game blip. Pavelec will be bad again; Michael Hutchinson has offered tepid promise, but remains far from a proven commodity.  The team’s above-average PDO (tied for 8th in the league) also suggests that the returns their forward crop offer may too be diminishing. This is a team that performed above average and is unlikely to shoot or stop the puck that well again, plain and simple. Their off-season of doing essentially nothing but reintegrating 23 year-old KHL refugee, Alex Burmistrov and re-signing the aging but adequate, Drew Stafford is a paltry re-load for a team that didn’t look like much in the playoffs. They’ll need continued development from young Mark Scheifele after a promising first full NHL season last year, but even so, I don’t see it this year in Winnipeg.

 

Rising

 

Nashville Predators:

Colin Wilson and the team celebrate the fact that I know who he is now.

 

Here’s an interesting fact: Colin Wilson, Mike Fisher, and Craig Smith are different people. Who knew? In researching the Nashville Predators roster, I must have done at least three major spit-takes, ruining my wife’s computer (twice). Contrary to my initial impression, those aren’t randomly-generated white guy names; they are, apparently, all unique individuals that each score between 30-50 points a year, are usually good for around 20 goals, and can play multiple positions. That’s so incredibly useful now that Nashville has a first line of players to reliably score in Mike Ribeiro, James Neal, and breakout All-Star candidate, Filip Forsberg. This marks a potentially powerful triumvirate if Ribeiro can continue to provide steady distribution, Neal re-ignites his potent shot, and Forsberg continues to develop on his current track. Throw in useful players like Paul Gaustad and Eric Nystrom to provide spine and leadership, and a reclamation project in Cody Hodgson, and this team is balanced and versatile. Most importantly, take a look at that loaded defense. Remember top draft pick Seth Jones? Yeah, he’s still that good. Shea Weber trudges along mercilessly firing 20 goals in a year while bludgeoning everyone in his path. There’s all kinds of depth and skill in Ryan Ellis, Roman Josi, and newly-inbound veteran Barret Jackman, siphoned from a division rival, no less. Most importantly, Pekka Rinne is back and, barring another serious health condition like the one that robbed him of his 2014 season, should continue to be one of the game’s elite keepers. It says a lot that he was able to bounce back from that scary bacterial infection following hip surgery, and put up one of the best seasons of his career. Watch out for Stanley Cup-winning coach Peter Laviolette to harangue his way to some serious contention for home ice in the West.

 

Contender

 

St. Louis Blues:

Tarasenko re-signed to win some Stanley Cups and drink some beers…. And he’s all out of beer.

 

Will this be the year that Ken Hitchcock finally finds the right X’s and the perfect O’s for the perennially-underachieving Blues? Since he assumed the head coaching position in St. Louis, they have been consistently excellent in the regular season, finding enough firepower to accent a stalwart defense. Yet they’ve never been past the first round, and have foolishly ridden an ever-rotating goalie carousel toward soft playoff exits. Last year, they looked to be a powerful force against an inexperienced Wild team, yet squandered home ice in game five against a still-scorching Devan Dubnyk. Vladimir Tarasenko was about the only player who came out of the series looking good for the Blues.  This past summer didn’t spell doom, but rather, an ultimatum: last chance.

Looking at this year’s squad, there’s some potential for addition by subtraction in losing Barrett Jackman, as his off-season departure opens up space for younger players like Petteri Lindbohm and Robert Bortuzzo to step in and add a bit of pace in the back end. Other than that, they mainly added depth in Kyle Brodziak, and secured Vladimir Tarasenko for eight years.

This is a team that tended heavily toward defensive play last year, with a 49.5% ratio of offensive to defensive zone starts (essentially a composite of how and where each player on the team is deployed and used). This indicates that King Kenny’s attention to defense hasn’t fallen away like his career as a world-renowned breeder of exotic birds. And though it may not be true that Ken Hitchcock was ever a decorated breeder of tropical birds, doesn’t it feel like he should develop a passion outside of hockey? I just worry.

Anyway, in spite of the Blues’ craven history of disintegrating at crucial moments, the future looks just as bright as last year’s Division-winning team’s could have been. The aforementioned Tarasenko is the crown jewel in an offense laden with high-level two-way players like David Backes, and the newly-acquired Troy Brouwer, but it seems like they’ll need more pure offensive value out of Paul Stastny, who, on balance, had the worst season of his career in 2015. The Blues continue to have questions in their goalie rotation, with Brian Elliott losing favor to Jake Allen in the last third of the year and into the playoffs (until Allen turned in some poor performances of his own). Yet the answer doesn’t appear to be on the horizon, so the hope is that Elliott can regain his peak form and Allen can use his time as a backup to learn what it means to be a true NHL starter. With a loaded roster and a championship-winning coach, the sky isn’t even the limit; only the Blues can hold themselves back at this point.

 

Other Thoughts:

  • As much as I’d like to offer some insight into the Wild’s season, I feel like Devan Dubnyk’s incredible run in net last year disrupts my ability to really figure out what kind of team this is. Unfortunately, my highly sophisticated intuition tells me that it will be nearly impossible for Dubnyk to reproduce such a run.  However, late-career goaltending surges are not out of the question.  Dwayne Roloson, somehow, took a 2011 Lightning team to within a game of the Cup final at age 41; this came after an up-and-down career in which, excepting another strange run to the Cup final with Edmonton five years earlier, he never really established himself as a top-tier keeper.  Probable Ted Nugent disciple, Tim Thomas, burst out at age 33 from being a spotty starter to a four-time all-star, Stanley Cup, Vezina, and Conn Smythe winner.  So there’s some hope that Dubnyk, now 29, will take that seemingly random leap into excellence.  Smart money says that won’t be the case, and the Wild might re-discover some of their early-season malaise from 2014-15.  One thing I do know: Jason Zucker needs to pass the fucking rock.  Dude had 21 goals and 5 assists last year.  That’s like, Rick Nash-level selfish, bro.  I’M OPEN ON THE POINT, ASSHOLE.

 

  • Once again, Colorado boasted high puck luck with one of the NHL’s best PDO numbers, yet still managed to be a big mess.  A clue: the Avalanche had the league’s second-worst Corsi percentage, also known as Shot Attempts on NHL.com (the stat combines shots, shot attempts, and blocked shots, the idea is to measure how a player impacts the team’s ability to direct the puck at the other net).  But beyond any of the numbers, the Avs just sucked last year, so we can’t really say they’re falling.   Picking up veteran blueliner Francois Beauchemin should strengthen the hapless defense, and the addition of Blake Comeau, who had excellent possession numbers last year with a high personal Corsi percentage, should hopefully help in that department.  Ultimately, Patrick Roy is a an inflamed gonad and he will always be lesser than a Red Wing;  never forget 12/02/95, you Stanley Cup-winning chump!

 

  • Did you know that, according to the Weather Channel, it will be 86 degrees and partly cloudy in Dallas, Texas, on the opening night of hockey season??  I’m deeply tempted to leave my comments at that for the Stars, but they’ve done enough to at least intrigue me over the summer.  I don’t think they’re due for a significant push forward, nor a slump, but there’s potential for some impact with the summer acquisitions of skilled Cup-winners Patrick Sharp and Johnny Oduya, and former Cup-winner Antii Niemi in goal.  But each of those players is on the wrong side of thirty, and who knows how much is left in the tank.  The Stars again play it cavalier with a thin defense, especially after losing one of their few NHL-ready defenders in Trevor Daley in the trade for Patrick Sharp.  Under the guidance of their General Manager, former Detroit Red Wing head of scouting and all-around hockey savant, Jim Nill, the Stars strengthened their team through the middle last off-season, acquiring Jason Spezza as a formidable second-line pillar.  The problem is that they neglected to carry six viable NHL defenders, and the team looked ghastly out of the back last year, allowing 257 goals, good for 4th-worst in the NHL.  I don’t really see enough movement on this front to shift the terrain in any significant direction; the goaltending situation continues to compound the team’s defensive woes, now with two potentially over-the-hill Finnish keepers bringing great experience, but diminishing skills.  Even the strong development of promising rookie D-man John Klingberg would be insufficient cover for such a porous defense.  Yet, with the likes of Tyler Seguin and unlikely Art-Ross Trophy winner Jamie Benn, the team have an elite duo of firebrand offensive talent atop solid cast of top-six forwards.  The questions persist: can this Dallas team mature and take care of the puck in their own end? Does the combination of Kari Lehtonen and Niemi have enough in the tank to turn out wins with a shaky defense in front? Does the influx of former Chicago Blackhawk championship teammates create some sort of old-man spark?  Can you see the ice around my enormous cowboy hat made of beef jerky?

 

Stay tuned to your favorite internet tube for part 3, coming soon! 

 


SBS NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 3

Written by :
Published on : September 23, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

I seem to be developing a pattern of mediocrity as far as it concerns these NFL Picks Against the Spread. It’s like I’m the Bengals or something. With an 8-8 record last week and a 15-16-1 record overall, I just haven’t been able to take that next step. That’s all going to change this week. Now that the identity of these  NFL teams is a little more clear, I’ve got this thing figured out and am sure that these picks are on the money. Sit back, put your feet up, and enjoy these winners.

 

Winning picks in italics

 

Redskins at Giants (-4)Giants

The Giants have now lost 2 games that they should have won and they are going to come out pissed as all hell. The Redskins on the other hand, are going to show that last week was a fluke. Eli goes off and the Giants get their first win, at home, in a big way.

 

Steelers (-1) at Rams: Rams

This is a tough one for me because it’s going to be Le’Veon Bell’s first game back with the Steelers, but I think the Rams defense is going to shine. The home field advantage is going to play a big part here and we are going to see a repeat of what St Louis did when Seattle came to town in week 1.

 

Chargers at Vikings (-2.5): Chargers

The Vikings were lucky to be playing a Lions team last week that seems to have no offensive line whatsoever. They will not be so lucky this week with Phillip Rivers & Co heading the land of 10,000 lakes. Rivers and Keenan Allen will get back on track and cover the spread in what will be a high scoring matchup.

 

Buccaneers at Texans (-6.5): Buccaneers

Can somebody please explain to me how the 0-2 Texans are a 6.5 point favorite? Don’t worry I’ll wait….. Exactly, it makes no sense. Vegas obviously knows something that we don’t (as usual) but regardless I’ll take Jameis and those points all day.

 

Eagles at Jets (-2.5): Jets

The Eagles are a mess. They can’t run the ball and Bradford looks like a fat, steaming pile of dog shit on the field. The Jets, however, look surprisingly good. And they’re at home. Jets FTW.

 

Saints at Panthers (-7.5): Saints

I know Drew Brees is probably about to miss this and perennial bum, Luke McCown, is likely to back him up, but 7.5-points in a division game? I’ve got to go with the Saints here and hope that Sean Payton can dial up some serious magic to keep this one somewhat close.

 

Jaguars at Patriots (-13.5): Jaguars

There’s no way I see the Jaguars having a chance at winning this game straight up, but they did beat the Patriots’ division rivals, the Dolphins, last week. The Pats will go up early and then let their older starters get some rest. That’s when Blake Bortles is going to get some garbage-time TDs and cover this ridiculous 13.5-point spread

 

Bengals at Ravens (-2.5): Ravens

The Bengals have looked damn good so far this season, and the poor Ravens are 0-2, including an embarrassing loss to the Raiders. But this is their home-opener and it happens to be against a division opponent. The Ravens are going to come out fired up and smack the Bengals back down to Earth.

 

Raiders at Browns (-3.5): Browns

The Raiders have some young talent, probably more so than the Browns, but they are on the road and they got lucky last week against the Ravens. This is going to be a real dumpster fire of a game and surely going to piss off both fan bases, but home field rules and Johnny Football gets the win.

 

Colts (-3.5) at Titans: Colts

Andrew Luck has got to get his shit together at some point, right? This is the perfect time to pull his head out of his own ass and lead the Colts to a big win.

 

Falcons (-1.5) at Cowboys: Falcons

If Tony Romo and Dez Bryant were on the field this pick would be different, but the Falcons have actually looked good this year. Brandon Weeden is going to fumble-fuck all over this game and get the Cowboys their first loss.

 

49ers at Cardinals (-6.5): Cardinals

Has Carson Palmer ever even been injured? I mean seriously, he looks amazing out there. The 49ers are headed into a world of pain when they travel to Arizona this week. The Cardinals will get after them early and often, and run them right back to Santa Clara (They don’t actually play in San Francisco anymore).

 

Bears at Seahawks (-14.5): Bears

The Bears were already so bad and now Jimmy Clausen is set to start in Seattle this week. Fans in Chicago should be shitting themselves right about now. The Seahawks haven’t looked great but they are vastly superior to the Bears. That said, just like with the Pats-Jags game, I can’t see past that spread. Call me crazy, but I take those 14.5-points, Matt Forte and the Bears.

 

Bills at Dolphins (-3): Bills

When Ndamukong Suh was with the Lions he was my favorite player. When he left for the Dolphins I was sad but wished him the best. Now I would be lying if I said it didn’t please me just a bit to see that defense under-achieving. The Bills, however, are looking great on defense and seem to have the offense more figured out than I would have thought. I think they win straight up, but if you’re giving me 3, I’m gonna take it without thinking twice.

 

Broncos (-3) at Lions: Broncos

Until they show me otherwise, I give up on the Lions. After seeing what their o-line has looked like against the likes of the Chargers and Vikings, it make me sick to my stomach to think what Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware are going to do to sweet, handsome Matt Stafford. Get your 40 oz ready Lions fans, cuz we might be pouring out a little liquor for our dead quarterback on Monday.

 

Chiefs at Packers (-6.5): Packers

What can I even say about the Packers. It doesn’t matter who they play or how many people on their team get hurt, with Aaron Rodgers all they do is win. And they are at home? So long, Chiefs. The god damned Pack wins again.

 


Last week’s record: 8-8

 

Season record: 15-16-1

 


SBS NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 2

Written by :
Published on : September 17, 2015

 

 

Well, my week 1 for NFL Picks Against the Spread didn’t go quite as well as I had hoped. I came away with 7 wins, 8 losses and 1 push. Which is ok, but I strive for greatness and will use the lessons learned about teams to push up my win percentage this week. There are some nice divisional matchups coming up that are going to make it a little tricky. Surely, there will be some surprises and some upsets, but with a few big underdogs, I’m confident that I’ve got a full helping of winners here for you guys.

 

Winning picks in italics.

 

Broncos at Chiefs (-3): Chiefs

Both of these teams came away with wins last week. The Broncos won at home in underwhelming fashion and the Chiefs won on the road against a disappointing Texans squad. Arrowhead Stadium is one of the hardest places in the league for opposing teams to play, and with Manning’s arm looking about as weak as previously rumored, watch the Chiefs defense to get all over him.

 

Patriots (-1) at Bills: Patriots

Both the Bills and Pats were very strong last week, and the Bills defense neutralized a Colts offense that was one of the most explosive in the league last season. That said, the Patriots are going to continue to play angry and stick it to Roger Goodell, one win at a time. Even though it’s a divisional game and they are on the road in Buffalo, with the Bills only getting 1 point, the Patriots are the right pick.

  

Titans (-1) at Browns: Titans

How about that Marcus Mariota guy? He looked very, very good last week as he led the Titans to a week one win against the top pick of the draft in Tampa Bay. The Browns on the other hand, are looking like they will be as bad as I thought they were going to be. Mariota is going to pick that defense apart and get win number two in Cleveland by a wide margin.

 

Texans at Panthers (-3): Panthers

The Panthers didn’t look great last week, but still managed a 21-9 win on the road in Jacksonville. They welcome a Texans team that lost by 7 on their home field last week. I see the Panthers winning this one with some help from a couple of broken plays that Cam Newton extends with his legs.

 

Cardinals (-1.5) at Bears: Cardinals

The Bears put up a very good fight against the Packers and had a real chance to come away with a huge win last week. Then reality set in, of course. This week they welcome in a Cardinals team that beat the Saints last week, but lost their starting running back in the process. Carson Palmer looked pretty sharp in his first game back from injury and I think he will overcome the 1.5 points being given to the Bears, while passing the ball all over them. Cardinals win.

 

Chargers at Bengals (-3): Bengals

The Chargers had a huge second half last week to overcome a Lions first half 21-3 lead, and get a 33-28 win. While the Bengals destroyed the lowly Raiders for the entirety of the game. Both of these teams are good and will probably be battling each other for a wild-card berth this year. With the Bengals being at home, I think that gives them the advantage and they beat the spread.

 

Lions at Vikings (-3): Detroit

For one half of football, the Lions seemed like they could be one of the best teams in the league, then they were severely out-coached in the second half and lost. They now head to Minnesota and play a team that didn’t look for good for any sustained period against the 49ers. The Lions defense and offensive line will want to prove that they aren’t as bad as they looked in that second half last week.

 

Buccaneers at Saints (-10): Buccaneers

I think the Saints win this one at home straight up. I just can’t resist the urge to take the 10 points that the Bucs are getting here. I think Jameis has a much better game than last week and does enough to keep this one close.

 

Falcons at Giants (-2.5): Giants

The Giants should have won their game last week against the Cowboys, but they at least did enough to cover the spread. They are going to be heartbroken after that division loss last week and are going to come out strong at home against the Falcons. Look for them to win by a touchdown and for Odell Beckham Jr to have a few big plays.

 

49ers at Steelers (-6): 49ers

Neither of these teams looked all that great last week, but the Steelers defense still looks like a work in progress and they remain without Le’veon Bell for one more game. They win straight up but the 49ers keep it close enough to cover the spread.

 

Rams (-3.5) at Redskins: Rams

The Redskins are bad and are going to get murdered by Aaron Donald & Co as that Rams defense gets all over them. Enough said.

 

Ravens (-6) at Raiders: Raiders

The Raiders got a big scare when Derek Carr went down with a hand injury against the Bengals. He was back to fully practicing this week and should be good to go at home against the Ravens. If he wasn’t playing then the Ravens would be the easy pick, but with Carr and Amari Cooper on the field, I think the offense keeps it close enough to cover the spread.

 

Dolphins (-6) at Jaguars: Dolphins

There might be a point sometime soon when the Jaguars are decent, but they clearly aren’t there yet. The Dolphins defense and offense is going to continue to improve, especially against the Jags this week. Add to that the fact that there will probably be more Dolphins fans up in Jacksonville, and it should work out essentially like a home game for the ‘Fins. They are are going to beat them up and run them out of their own stadium.

 

Cowboys at Eagles (-5): Cowboys

The Cowboys had an inspiring comeback win against another division rival at home last week.  This week they travel to Philly to take on an Eagles team that was less than inspiring against the Falcons. This will be another NFC East slugfest that is decided by less than the 5-point spread being offered up by Vegas. Take the Cowboys

 

Seahawks at Packers (-3.5): Seahawks

The Seahawks aren’t getting any favors from the schedule makers by having to travel to St Louis week one and then into Green Bay for week two, but luckily for them, the Packers defense looked pretty awful last week. Look for Marshawn and the Seahawks to keep it very close, even if they don’t pull out the win.

 

Jets at Colts (-7): Jets

Don’t get me wrong, I think the Colts will win this one at home, but it’s another case of me not being able to look past the points being given by Vegas. The Jets looked pretty good against a bad team last week and with a defense that is supposed to be strong, I think it stays close enough for the Jets to be the pick here.

 


Last Week’s Record: 7-8-1

 

Season Record: 7-8-1

 


ScoreBoredSports NFL Staff Picks: Week 2

Written by :
Published on : September 17, 2015

 

 

 

 

Making picks for week one of the football season was really tough. It reminded me a lot of the first day of high school as a sophomore: sure, everybody remembers what happened last year, but that’s okay because this year’s first impression is all that really matters… as long as you don’t cry during a lecture, puke at your desk or get those weird sneezing fits again. But enough about me…

 

The SBS team did pretty well last week. Shout out to my fellow writers Antoine and Bryce for both getting first place with a 12-4 record. And a big Pie In The Face to Alex, from all us “clowns” who are going to have worse records than you this year. Help me out, what’s 5-11? Oh that’s right… last place.

 

Here are your ScoreBoredSports NFL staff picks for week 2:

Week 2 Picks

 

Week 1


Alex Jag’s NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 1

Written by :
Published on : September 8, 2015

 

Who doesn’t love gambling? I know I do. Whenever you get frisky enough to place a wager on the game, it always helps to get some outside opinions. Especially from someone as gifted as me. So check out these NFL Picks Against the Spread for week 1 of the 2015 Regular Season, and make sure to check back every week if you need help picking a winner.

 

 

Winning picks in italics.

 

Pittsburgh at New England (-7): Pittsburgh

New England is going to be very hard to beat in Foxsborough, especially with a freshly vindicated Tom Brady playing with a chip on his shoulder. I see New England winning straight up, but it’s hard not to take the 7 points. The Steelers keep it close enough to cover the spread, with a little help from a couple Antonio Brown touchdowns.

 

Green Bay (-7) at Chicago: Green Bay

I know that the Packers lost Jordy Nelson for the season. And I know that this is a divisional game on the road. But the Bears are going to be very bad this year, and Aaron Rodgers is still Aaron Rodgers. This spread could be twice as large and I would still pick Green Bay.

 

Kansas City at Houston (-1): Houston

Maybe I’m all hyped up on the Texans defense from watching HBO’s Hard Knocks this season, but I feel like this group is going to be good. Add that with DeAndre Hopkins covering up for the quarterback deficiencies, and I think it’s enough to overcome the 1-point spread and win this one at home.

 

Cleveland at New York Jets (-3): Jets

This is a choice of which of these two bad teams is worse. The Browns are worse. Much worse. Jets win at home.

 

Indianapolis (-3) at Buffalo: Indianapolis

Buffalo is probably going to be pretty strong this year, but I think there will be some growing pains with the new system. As for Andrew Luck, he is fully grown. He is going to put up a ton of points this year and I don’t think a good Buffalo defense will be good enough to keep up with that offense.

 

Miami (-4) at Washington: Miami

Washington is a mess. And they’re going to continue down that road until a lot of things change. Miami on the other hand has the makings of a fierce defense and a potent offense. They will win this game and probably win big. Washington might only win 4 or 5 games this year, and this won’t be one of them.

 

Carolina (-3.5) at Jacksonville: Jacksonville

Blake Bortles has looked pretty good this offseason and on the other side, the Panthers don’t have anyone to throw the ball to. Now that I think of it they don’t really have anyone to run the ball either. The Carolina defense is good and the loss of Julius Thomas hurts the Jags, but getting 3.5 at home, I have to pick Jacksonville here.

 

Seattle (-4) at St Louis: St Louis

St Louis won against the Seahawks at home last year. They have a fierce defense and a potentially good running game. The QB position is still a question mark though, and even if they don’t win outright, they keep it close enough to cover the spread.

 

New Orleans at Arizona (-2.5): New Orleans

This is a tough one because I don’t really know what these two teams are made of this season. That said, I think Drew Brees wins it.

 

Detroit at San Diego (-3): Detroit

The Lions offense has looked explosive this offseason. With a healthy Calvin Johnson and another year studying the system for Matthew Stafford, this team could put up a ton of points. I don’t see the loss of Ndamukong Suh as a death blow to the defense as some analysts have suggested, either. I think San Diego will be good this year, but not as good as Detroit. Getting 3 points, I think the Lions pull this one out.

 

Tennessee at Tampa Bay (-3): Tampa Bay

Both of these quarterbacks are going to have very successful careers, but I think Winston is in a better situation for his rookie season. He has three legit weapons to throw the ball to, and I’m not sure Mariota even has one. Add in the fact that it’s at home for the Bucs and I think they cover the spread and win this one.

 

Cincinnati (-3.5) at Oakland: Cincinnati

I don’t care if this game is played on Mars, the Bengals are a much better team right now. The addition of Amari Cooper to the offense means that this game might be interesting for a little bit, but Cincy will pull away in the second half.

 

Baltimore at Denver (-4.5): Denver

A lot of the talk revolving around Peyton Manning this offseason had to do with the fact that everyone thinks he is washed up. I’m sure Peyton has been hearing those things just like the rest of us, and that is bad news for the Ravens. He will come out with something to prove. Combine that with a home game at Mile High Stadium, and that spells doom for Baltimore.

 

New York Giants at Dallas (-6): Giants

I’m not convinced that the Cowboys will be as good this year as they were last year. In a division matchup where the Giants are getting 6 points, that means the Giants are the pick here.

 

Philadelphia (-3) at Atlanta: Philadelphia

Chip Kelly’s Eagles, with Sam Bradford under center, have had a pretty good preseason. The offense is going to be strong and will wear teams down with the hurry up. The Falcons d-line on the other hand, isn’t going to be very good. I see the Eagles easily covering the spread and taking this one in Atlanta.

 

Minnesota (-2.5) at San Francisco: Minnesota

I can’t remember any team having as bad of an offseason as the 49ers have had this year. They lost player after player to retirement, injury or arrests. You kind of have to feel bad for them. The Vikings, however, have been every talking head’s darling of the offseason, with some picking them to go to the playoffs. It’s also Adrian Peterson’s first game back. This is all bad news for the 49ers, and I see the Vikings winning this one big.

 

 


ScoreBoredSports NFL Staff Picks: Week 1

Written by :
Published on : September 7, 2015

 

Welcome to week 1 of the ScoreBoredSports NFL Staff Picks, the game where we try to figure out who is going to win each matchup. We thought this would be a fun way to spend the NFL season and prove our individual knowledge of the game. Obviously, I’ll have the best record at the end of the season, but I figured I would let these other clowns in on the fun too. Some of us are less knowledgable when it comes to the NFL (Treasure) and some of us think we have it all figured out (Mike), but either way we’ll probably all find out that we don’t really know shit about football.

 

There are some picks that seem to be a general consensus among the writers here at SBS, including the Packers over the Bears on the road in Chicago. Not a single person picked the lowly Bears, and I think the feeling around the office is that they could be one of the worst teams in football this year. Some other locks to win this week are the Bengals, the Dolphins and the Colts. I tend to agree with these picks as well, but as we know anything can happen out there on the field.

 

So check out these picks, comment to let us know if you agree or disagree and be sure to check back every week this season to see our picks.

 

-Alex

 

SBS Staff Picks - Week 1

 

 


Don’t Punch Your Quarterback!

Written by :
Published on : August 11, 2015

 

Everybody knows that NFL training camp can get a little heated. All of the ego, talent and conflicting personalities are forced to live together and gel as a team, while sweltering in the summer sun. It’s when bonds are formed, but like anytime you put that much testosterone in one place, there are moments when tempers will flare and confrontations will turn physical. Some would call it the nature of the beast, and there’s no one who has been through it that won’t tell you that it’s a fairly regular occurrence. Most of the time these little scuffles occur amongst the linemen on either side of the ball, or between receivers and DBs, but this week we have seen a couple of quarterbacks get in on the action, causing fans and coaches to hold their collective breath.

 

 

Yesterday we got to see Cam Newton and cornerback Josh Norman get into an altercation in which the much larger Newton manhandled the DB. Apparently Newton threw an interception to Norman, who then laid a nice stiff arm on the QB during his return down the sideline. Newton took issue with the stiff arm (and probably the interception), even though he had been pursuing the defender. I know the red jersey means hands off but can you really fault Norman for trying to complete the interception return unimpeded?

 

The way I look at it, Josh Norman should consider himself lucky to still be on the team, because he is already on the bubble of the roster to begin with. I don’t blame him for the fight, and I think that Cam should remember that he is supposed to be a leader on this team and rise above this kind of stuff. Still, Norman should be thankful to have a job (for now) because Cam Newton is the future of this franchise, and he is definitely not. I’m not saying Josh Norman will stick with the team, but for now it seems like this thing has blown over. Either way, hands off the million dollar smile!

 


 

Today is a different story entirely. Fans in New York got to start their Tuesday with news that their best hope at quarterback, Geno Smith, had his jaw broken after he was punched in the face by linebacker IK Enemkpali. This is a huge blow to a team with a rookie head coach, who was hoping that Smith would take a big step forward this year. It is estimated that he will miss 6-10 weeks and will require surgery to fix the damage he incurred after reportedly sticking his finger in the face of Enemkpali during a locker room argument.

 

 

 

Sadly, unlike the Newton incident that happened out on the practice field in front of the eyes and cameras of fans and media, the Smith incident occurred in the locker room. All we know for sure is that Geno Smith will not be throwing the ball to Brandon Marshall for a couple of months and IK Enemkpali has already been released by the team. That’s just what happens when you crush the hopes of a team before the season even starts. Some of the Twitter reactions have been priceless.

 

 

 

The issue here isn’t training camps fights; those are always going to happen. What really needs to be looked at is the leadership of these two young QBs. They are the most important players on their respective teams and for them to put the success of the team and their own careers at risk like this is just stupid.  As far as the defenders who were dumb enough to put hands on them, they need to worry about their careers too, because a Cam Newton and Geno Smith are a lot more likely to stick around than a Josh Norman and IK Enemkpali. One of them still has a job and the other is now looking for one, but you can be damn sure that if something like that happens again, neither of them will ever see another down of NFL football.

 

And that’s why you DON’T PUNCH YOUR QUARTERBACK!

 

 

 


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